As I talk with a lot of folks from a lot of different areas, I know these last few months have taken their toll on all of us. There are so many emotions in this season. Some are struggling with fear. Others are mourning loss. There’s more than enough anger and frustration to go around. There is a profound sense of weariness with many I talk with; it’s been a difficult season. My sense is that we’re not through the worst of it yet. I know that may not be welcome news, but I think this is going to be a long season that will continue to be very difficult for everyone.
We’re tired of the new normal. We’re tired of masks and social distancing. We’re tired of the tension that exists all around us: some think this is a hoax while others are fearing the worst. Some feel like our governments have overstepped their bounds while others don’t feel like enough is being done to protect people. I’ve heard multiple pastors share about the difficulty of navigating between those that never wanted to stop gathering in public worship and those who think it’s too soon to regather. The constant tension has a way of wearing everyone down.
During these difficult times, there are enormous opportunities to share the Gospel! People are hungry for hope. This is our time as followers of Jesus!
How are you preparing to love your neighbors in the months to come? I know many of you have been loving your neighbors over the past few months. I’ve loved the stories we’ve seen of people putting their faith into action by providing food and other critical resources to their communities. I’ve loved the stories that have emerged about partnerships with other local congregations and community agencies to help people in their time of need. I know many of you have already been loving your neighbors well.
While this is a time of enormous challenge, it’s also a time of great opportunity. How are you going to love your neighbors in the weeks and months to come? There are going to be a host of disruptions to normal education process of children in your community – how could you love the children, teachers and school administrators who are your neighbors? How could you bless them in Jesus’ name?
There are going to continue to be material needs throughout our communities – people will be looking for work, others will learn that their current job is being eliminated. There will be a host of issues that arise from loss of employment or lack of employment. How can you love your neighbors in practical ways during this difficult season?
Small businesses everywhere continue to struggle through this crisis. How could you love your small business neighbors and show them the love of Christ in practical ways in the weeks and months to come? What would it look like for the body of Christ to come together in your community to love your community during this time? Where is God already at work and how could you join Him in what He’s already doing in the lives of your friends and neighbors?
Yes, these are difficult days, but these are the days that God prepared in advance for us to do the good work of loving our neighbors, to demonstrate and proclaim the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Let’s not get distracted or consumed with aggravation, loss or the other emotions of this time. Let’s keep the main thing the main thing: loving God and loving our neighbors.
CGGC eNews—Vol. 14, No. 32